ACTIONS: Getting Around

We evolved as bipeds, walking and running and climbing and jumping. For most of us, our legs work pretty well, but eventually we wanted to go farther, faster than they could take us.

We rode horses, camels, burros, donkeys, and elephants, asking them to expend their energy to bear the burdens we put on them. We invented the wheel and attached it to frames to make wagons, bicycles, tricycles, and other devices that could be powered by our bodies and the animals we tamed.

Eventually, we used stored carbon from ancient plants to power engines attached to metal boxes to move us faster with almost no effort from us—a significant achievement in propulsion but one that came at great cost to a habitable climate, our physical health, and our communities.

Now, we have more options for getting around than ever before. Walking, rolling, biking, and transit are the most efficient and fun ways to go short distances, and they let us interact with our communities as we travel. Even when it’s impractical to walk, bike, or roll, or when transit isn’t available, everyone can do something to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as they move through their day.

Rethinking how we move our bodies through the world can not only reduce the impact on the climate, but improve our physical health, build stronger connections with our neighborhoods, save money, and make us happier!